Fourth-largest crowd in team history takes in memorable Opening Night in Charleston
By: Riverdogs Media
The RiverDogs' fourth-largest crowd in team history poured through the gates of Riley Park as 8,046 onlookers took in a 4-0 RiverDogs defeat to the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Thursday night's home opener at The Joe.
Nearly every seat in the house was occupied as former Yankees second-rounder Matt Sauer (0-1) loaded up the bases to start the ballgame before wiggling out of the jam with back-to-back punchouts of Zack Kone and Rodolfo Castro to leave them loaded to the delight of the sellout crowd. The Opening Night horde marked just the fourth in club history to eclipse 8,000 in a single-game, with two of the other three instances also home openers (2007 & 2009, the other was a July 3 game in 2006).
The Yankees' No. 10 preseason prospect, Sauer had not given up a hit through four innings until catcher Zac Susi charged a leadoff double into the opposite field to get a Grasshoppers (4-4) rally started in the fifth. With two outs, shortstop Connor Kaiser walked before first baseman Mason Martin laced a two-bagger to right, just a foot inside the chalk line for the biggest hit of the night that chased Sauer in the process. The California native struggled with control despite limiting hard contact, issuing a career-high five walks while striking out four.
Greensboro added insurance tallies in the sixth and ninth as Charleston's offense struggled to muster anything off Hoppers righty Osvaldo Bido (2-0). The Dominican Republic native extended his scoreless innings streak to 11.0 straight to start the year, striking out five over six frames for his second win in as many starts.
The RiverDogs (4-4) lineup matched Greensboro with five in the hit column but were shutout for the first time this season.
Catcher Josh Breaux enjoyed his second straight two-hit night, notching a pair of base hits in the designated hitter role.
Mayor John Tecklenburg entertained the masses with rousing piano scores and singing as the record crowd filed in for the pregame festivities. The RiverDogs Opening Day roster was introduced in "Make Fun" fashion, emerging from the crowd in an explosion of confetti to start out the night. Fans took in the sights from the Ashely View Pub on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, featuring dollar beers and DJ Natty Heavy spinning the tunes all night long.
The RiverDogs continue the series with the Grasshoppers on Friday night in game two at 7:05 p.m. It's the first Friday Fireworks presented by Home Telecom of the season following the game and in conjunction with Boeing, the RiverDogs will wear their alternate red uniforms honoring our nation's military as part of a Red Shirt Friday. For those that can't make it to Riley Park, catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area, online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app and on MiLB.tv with a subscription. Hard-throwing right-hander Tanner Myatt (0-0, 4.50), the Yankees' No. 29 prospect, will make his second start of the season, opposed by Greensboro righty Alex Manasa (0-0, 5.40).
Fans can "Make Fun" with the RiverDogs all season long down at The Joe. Single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are available at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). A full schedule and list of game times for the 2019 season is available at riverdogs.com.